What readers think of Turn of Mind, plus links to write your own review.

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Turn of Mind

by Alice LaPlante

Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante X
Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2011, 320 pages
    May 2012, 320 pages


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There are currently 39 reader reviews for Turn of Mind
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Kristen H. (Lowell, MA)

Turn of the mind took me on a rollercoaster of emotions. It combines the sadness of having the family member perspective of watching a loved one become a shell of themselves, the couple of perspectives, when they are lucid and when they are not, from the family member with Alzheimer's in many different situations, as well as a murder mystery all wrapped up into one. A Great read.
Erin S. (Springville, UT)

Unreliable narration at its best!
LaPlante's brilliant writing made me feel that I was suffering dementia along with the main character. The mystery element is the central plot but is not what makes this book interesting. It is getting to know the flawed characters through the unreliable narration. I did not want to put the book down, and I am still thinking about it a week later.
Corinne S. (Paoli, PA)

Who Murdered Amanda?
Alice LaPlante writes a murder mystery interwoven with a heart-breaking journey of Dr. Jennifer White, who is an orthopedic surgeon, diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. LaPlante keeps the suspense high as I try to piece the puzzle of events together from the fog of Jennifer's diminished memory. I found that I had to pay attention and the desire to solve the murder kept me turning the pages. Book clubs would enjoy learning what this disease is like through the eyes of Jennifer, her daughter Fiona, and her son Mark. Each character has a different perspective of how Jennifer is able to function when she fades in and out of reality. Can Jennifer live at home? What does it feel like to have your mother not know who you are? Can you love someone who is not cognitively aware? How do you respect the woman, your mother, and keep her dignity when she can disappear out the door in the freezing snow with hardly any clothes on? Turn of Mind reminds me of the book Still Alice by Lisa Genova.

"Turn of Mind" scares the pants off aging parents and their children.

Alice LaPlante expertly puts a reader into a dementia burdened mind. The main character, Jennifer White, is a doctor spiraling down a darkening rabbit hole. The reader searches for truth between imagination and remembrance. A murder has occurred and the prime suspect is the 61 year old doctor.

The scare of the story is not the murder; it is the terror of forgetting and the burden of living. Doctor White tries to remember faces and names. She raises hell with her family and nursing staff. Her two children are reluctantly compelled to commit her to a complete care facility because Dr. White's dementia exceeds a care giver's ability to manage her at home.

LaPlante's story is a fairly good mystery but it is most interesting because it reminds a reader of the tragic and scary consequence of dementia. The poor, at least today, have Medicaid for this long life disease. The rich have insurance. The middle class have bankruptcy. "Turn of Mind" is a primer on what dementia means to a sufferer and his or her family.
Katherine Y. (Albuquerque, NM)

Super compelling book
This book was just gripping. I put aside some other books just to read this one and finished it easily over the course of two evenings. The real strength of the novel is in the rich personality of the main character. The "mystery" itself is not very compelling, but watching the brilliant main character deal with the loss of her own "self" is riveting. Explores a subject that has been underaddressed in modern literature. Several areas of the book would be very interesting book group discussion topics: female friendships, marriage and what makes a person him or her

Not Very Mysterious
I wish the author had left out the mystery aspect of the book, which frankly made little sense. It also made the characters, who weren't very likable to begin with, even less so. That said, the portrayal of dementia was interesting. I am watching a loved one deteriorate with Alzheimer's and often wonder what he is thinking and feeling. It was an interesting take on a painful disease, which devastates both the patient and those who love her.
Jon V. (Mechanicsburg, PA)

A solid effort, but falls short
The inherent danger of a disjointed narrative is the way it keeps a reader from becoming immersed in a story. We are constantly jostled and thrown around. I appreciate that LaPlante gives good reason for it -- a narrator with dementia -- but ultimately, the story just didn't grab me. She made an ambitious play by telling a story through a broken mind, but the result is less than spectacular.

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